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IX Fighter Command

IX Fighter Command
World War II Emblem of Ninth Air Force
Active 1942–1945
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Forces
Role Fighter Command and Control
Captain Edwin O. Fisher, 362d Fighter Group, 7 aerial victories; 3 V-1 Flying Bombs; 25 enemy vehicles and 5 locomotives.

The IX Fighter Command was a United States Army Air Forces formation. Its last assignment was with the Ninth Air Force, based at Erlangen, Germany. It was inactivated on 16 November 1945.

IX Fighter Command was the primary tactical fighter air arm of Ninth Air Force in the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa during 1942-1943. Reassigned to England, it became the dominant tactical air force over the skies of Western Europe during the 1944 Battle of Normandy and the Western Allied invasion of Germany in 1945.

After its inactivation, the majority of its (along with Twelfth Air Force) units were incorporated into the postwar United States Air Force Tactical Air Command.


  • History 1
    • North Africa 1.1
    • Western Europe 1.2
    • Lineage 1.3
    • Assignments 1.4
    • Components 1.5
      • North Africa 1.5.1
      • Western Europe 1.5.2
    • Stations 1.6
  • See also 2
  • References 3


North Africa

In Ninth Air Force fighter units assigned to the Western Desert Campaign (Libya and Tunisia).

Although wings were officially subordinate to the command, combat groups were attached to the Desert Air Force, which included squadrons of the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and South African Air Force.

IX Fighter Command was reassigned to England in November 1943 as part of Normandy invasion planning. Its subordinate units were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force.

Western Europe

During the winter of 1943/44 IX Fighter Command expanded at an extraordinary rate so that by the end of May 1944, its complement ran to 45 flying groups operating some 5,000 aircraft. Initial missions from England consisted of fighter sweeps over troop concentrations and attacks on enemy positions and airfields, primarily on German Fifteenth Army units in the Pas-de-Calais region of France as well as around Normandy and Cotentin Peninsula. On D-Day IX Fighter Command units carried out massive air attacks on German forces in Normandy area with P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers. Air cover during the morning amphibious assault by Allied forces on the beaches of France was flown by P-38 Lightnings.

With the beaches secure, grups began deploying to France on June 16, 1944, ten days after the Normandy invasion by moving P-47 Thunderbolts to a beach-head landing strip. During the Battle of Normandy, its tactical air units then provided the air power for the Allied break-out from the Normandy beachhead in the summer of 1944 during the Battle of Cherbourg, Caen, and the ultimate breakout from the beachhead, Operation Cobra.

By early August most IX Fighter Command groups were transferred to bases in France and assigned to the U. S. Twelfth Army Group. Command then reorganized, with units transferred to three Tactical Air Commands and which directly supported Army ground units, along with an air defense command to defend Allied-controlled areas.

After units reassigned, remained as command organization until after VE-Day when performed occupation duty in Germany.


  • Constituted as IX Interceptor Command on 19 January 1942
Activated on 1 February 1942
Redesignated IX Fighter Command in May 1942
Inactivated on 16 November 1945
Disbanded on 8 October 1948



North Africa

Western Europe

358th Fighter Group Republic P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt 42-29259
370th Fighter Group P-38 Lightning



Attached to VIII Fighter Command entire period
Attached to XXIX Tactical Air Command, 28 January–21 June 1945



* Grass airstrip used for liaison and courier aircraft only

See also


  •  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

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